Response to BBC R4 PM Programme

BBC Radio 4 PM – broadcast 11-03-1998

Email to the editor of the PM programme:

Was it really so terribly funny getting cheap laughs out of a government employee of MI5's security service? (item on 10-03-98 edition)

Next time you report a massacre in Northern Ireland or a terrorist bomb in the City of London, will the reporter and presenters still be in helpless giggles about secret assignations with spies with copies of The Times under their arms and pink flowers behind their ears?

Do you imagine that political refugees and vulnerable minorities in the UK, fearful of the long arm of repressive regimes overseas, enjoyed hearing the BBC scoffing like school-kids over their only serious source of protection? I wonder how funny it sounded to Salman Rushdie, dissidents from Iraq and Burma or to the families of victims in Northern Ireland. A phone call could mean the difference between life and death for thousands of people in the UK.

This juvenile, school-yard stuff diminishes the status of PM and the role of good journalism.

© (1998) Christopher A. Long. Copyright, Syndication & All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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Christopher Long

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